Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thunder Tropic, Censorship and Other Reflections

First: If I remember my 8th grade history right, Abraham Lincoln said, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will fight to the death for your right to day it.

I just love Abe Lincoln and I agree with him.

Censorship—the governmental restriction of expression and media—is wrong. Freedom of speech is an essential right which should not be curtailed in any way.

Influencing people to change their personal expression is NOT censorship. It is LEADERSHIP. No rights are stepped on by asking people to choose to ban disrespectful language from their own lexicon out of respect for us.

Leadership from the disability community may be unexpected because our focus tends to be internal, and it may be unwelcome by those who do not wish to change, but I think it is great.

Second: It happens all the time, something goes crashing to the floor and my kids yell, “But I didn’t mean to!”

And all the time I point out that they are responsible for both the intent AND the outcomes of their actions. I am happy—delighted even—that their intent was never to wreck, damage, or injure, but if those things happen anyway they still are responsible both for apologizing and making amends.

(See more of my thoughts on friendly fire here.)

Third: FYI: An actor does NOT have to accept stupidity, being a total imbecile, etc from themselves to portray someone with a cognitive disability. This is NOT what it is like to have a disability.

It appears that many people believe that this is what actors must do to portray these roles, so the disability community should understand this scene in Tropic Thunder.

Well it isn’t, so we don’t.

No wonder so many portrayals of people with disabilities in movies are so bad.

And just when I was at my most frustrated trying to get all of this into one post Dave Hingsburger posted his answer: The business cards you see posted above!!

Love. It.

The idea is when you have been punched in the face (or the heart) with the R-word, give ‘em a card. They aren’t being copyrighted so anyone can make themselves a stack.

Thank you to Dave and his co-workers for this brilliant response.

Go to Dave's post and see the words on the back of the card, here.

Other bloggers weighing in on Tropic Thunder:


Wheelie Catholic

Special Ed Law Blog

Sweet Perdition

Whose Planet is it Anyway



Anonymous said...

I hope whoever invested in this trash called a movie lose money.

Elisabeth's Mom said...

I'm just surfing through after reading your comment about Tropic Thunder on Patricia Bauer's blog. Thank you for speaking out against this farce of a movie. I'm reading that they cut out the Simple Jack and "R" word references. We'll see.

For all the reasons they tried to give still do not justify using Simple Jack or the "R" word.

I am not offended by my daughter's behavior or the way she looks. Her disability is her only limitation in life because people constantly throw it in her face.

Thank you for speaking out and taking action.

Elisabeth's Mom,
Donna in Cincinnati

Terri said...

Thanks guys--some reports say the movie didn't do as well as hoped. I so hope that is true. I also hope the protests around the country get people to give a bit more thought to our usually invisible population!